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The Undead

The Undead

The Undead

Ver­öf­fent­licht: 13. März 2012

ISBN: 9780307907110

Important and pro­vo­ca­ti­ve, The Undead exami­nes why even with the tools of advan­ced tech­no­lo­gy, what we think of as life and death, con­scious­ness and non­con­scious­ness, is not exact­ly clear and how this pro­blem has been fur­ther com­pli­ca­ted by the busi­ness of organ har­ve­s­ting.
Dick Tere­si, a sci­ence wri­ter with a dark sen­se of humor, mana­ges to make this sto­ry enter­tai­ning, infor­ma­ti­ve, and acces­si­ble as he shows how death deter­mi­na­ti­on has beco­me more com­pli­ca­ted than ever. Tere­si intro­du­ces us to brain-death experts, hos­pi­ce workers, under­ta­kers, coma spe­cia­lists and tho­se who have reco­ve­r­ed from coma, organ trans­plant sur­ge­ons and organ pro­cu­rers, anesthe­sio­lo­gists who stu­dy pain in legal­ly dead pati­ents, doc­tors who have saved living pati­ents from organ har­ve­sts, nur­ses who care for bea­ting-heart cada­vers, ICU doc­tors who feel sub­t­ly pres­su­red to decla­re pati­ents dead rather than save them, and many others. Much of what they have to say is sho­cking. Tere­si also pro­vi­des a brief histo­ry of how death has been deter­mi­ned from the times of the anci­ent Egyp­ti­ans and the Incas through the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry. And he draws on the wri­tings and theo­ries of cele­bra­ted sci­en­tists, doc­tors, and rese­ar­chers-Jac­ques-Bénig­ne Winslow, Sher­win Nuland, Har­vey Cus­hing, and Lynn Mar­gu­lis, among others-to reve­al how theo­ries about dying and death have chan­ged. With The Undead, Tere­si makes us think twice about how the medi­cal com­mu­ni­ty deci­des when someo­ne is dead.

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